Testimonial: Show us your science! 21 June 2023

Students from SEA-EU alliance partner University of Gdańsk take part in science communication workshop at Kiel University.


How do you turn your detailed science project into a fascinating story that captures the hearts and minds of your audience? What is your unique presenting style?

In the three-day “Show your Science” workshop at the end of May, 13 doctoral researchers selected from SEA-EU Alliance partners, got to grips with these and other questions.

Doctoral researcher Pauline Bodson (photography), who studies the foraging behaviour of little auks breeding in Svalbard, travelled to Kiel from the University of the Gdańsk for the course.

“My motivation for taking part in the “Show your Science” course was to learn how to catch an audience’s attention. I want them to get as excited about my research topic as I am!” she says.

The workshop, run by Katharine Simmons, trainer for English presentation and communication, and Ulf Evert from the Graduate Center at Kiel University, aims to give participants the tools and confidence to give an entertaining talk about their research, to a wide, non-scientific, audience.

“Doctoral candidates often have a lot of experience presenting to others from their field, but have not had the opportunity to explore how to present the topic they are passionate about to a wider audience, as well as getting tips and feedback on their performance in a safe environment” says course co-organiser Ulf Evert. “Together with the participants we explore language, rhetorical and story-telling techniques and other tools to help them find their unique presenting style” adds course trainer Katharine Simmons.

“The “Show your Science” workshop helped me see that there is no one way to do a good presentation,” says Bodson. “We are not limited to the classical PowerPoint presentation, but we can use other support such as a drawing board to better explain our ideas. Moreover, doing a presentation is not only about presenting your data, but also how you present yourself. This will influence how the audience perceives your talk” she says reflecting on her experience.

“What I appreciated about the course was that all participants came from different fields, so we had to break down the science to make our topic understandable for everyone” says Bodson, one of two students from the University of Gdańsk who took part in course. “The teaching team for this class, as well as the location, were great, which make this experience even more memorable.”

Participants also had the chance to put their skills to the test as part of the “Science Show”, a public event where several speakers present their research in accessible and compelling short talks. Several weeks after the seminar and the Science Show, participants had the chance to join online feedback sessions with the trainers. These feedback sessions are a crucial part of the success of the workshop, Simmons explains. “We have found that giving the participants the chance to come back to us to reflect on their experience and receive feedback, really gives them the confidence to trust their newly learned skills and to continue practising communicating their science in front of varied audiences.”


A new edition of the ScienceShow is coming and Early-career researchers from across the SEA-EU alliance are invited to apply for one of six scholarships to be part of it, in Kiel, on the 29th September. The scholarship includes preparation and feedback sessions. Deadline is 7th July.

See here for more.